OverviewThe Health Service Department provides services through a collaborative health program, working in cooperation with other community healthcare providers. The school nurse serves as a liaison between school personnel, family, community and healthcare providers. A student’s health directly impacts their ability to learn. The School Health Program is designed to address health barriers to learning and academic success. The program operates under a set of policies and procedures designed to protect and promote the well-being of students and staff. A registered professional nurse provides leadership and the overall supervision for the program. The Health Services Supervisor oversees and manages the health services for the entire school system including student health services, employee wellness program, and the section 504 program for students with disabilities. The Nurse Team Leaders are an integral part of the program provides direct clinical oversight and supervision of the school based nurses. The professional school nurse provides emergency care assessments and intervention, preventive services, and communicable disease control measures. The management of acute and chronic health conditions is performed under the directions of the student’s private physician.
The school nurse may provide leadership or a supporting role in any of the following services:• Health Education: Student, Faculty and Staff
• Medication Administration and Health Care Procedures
• Referral Services
• Individualized Health Care Plans
• Screening: Vision, Hearing and Dental
• Spinal Screening Program*
• Emergency Preparedness
• Nursing Assessments
• First Aid, CPR Certification
• Maturation Program: Student Growth and Development
• Staff Health Promotion
*Mandated by the State for all students in grades 5-9 (ages 11-14)
Immunization Requirement for School Entry
All students are required to have an updated Certificate of Immunization, prior to entering kindergarten or first grade or prior to re-entering the higher grade as mandated by the State of Alabama (Code of Alabama 1975, δ16-30-4). The Certificate of Immunization must be on the form approved by the Alabama Department of Public Health.
Children entering school at the start of the school year are required by Alabama Law to present a Certificate of Immunization known as a “Blue Card". Children entering Kindergarten need boosters of DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis), Polio, MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) and Varicella. These shots complete the childhood series for Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio, Measles, Mumps and Rubella. Children age 11 and entering the 6th grade need a Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, and Pertussis) vaccination. If you are unsure whether your child needs shots, check with your pediatric provider or the local county health department. For more information, visit the Alabama Department of Public Health website at www.adph.org/immunization
Religious ExemptionA written objection from the parent or guardian of a student or child based on religious tenets and practices shall be submitted in person by the parent or guardian to the County Health Department for issuance of a Certificate of Religious Exemption from the required immunizations or testing.Medical Exemption
A licensed physician can provide individual exemptions from the required immunizations or testing on a Certificate of Medical Exemption. The Certificate of Medical Exemptions is required to be on forms approved by the Alabama Department of Public Health and will be accepted in lieu of the Certificate on Immunization.